The Risks of DIY Identity RecoveryJuly 17, 2018
Bad things happen. It’s a fact of life, and when problems arise, we have to decide whether to handle them ourselves or get help. For example, if your house were on fire, you’d definitely dial 911, but you probably wouldn’t hire a lawyer to dispute a bogus credit card charge. Sometimes it’s a judgment call: Is that pain in your tummy appendicitis or just the aftermath of yesterday’s all-you-can-eat Taco Tuesday binge? The risks are high, so you might choose to call your doctor.
Identity theft is new to many people, so it’s harder to judge whether or not you could handle it yourself. If you’ve dealt with credit card fraud, you may think that fixing identity theft problems is pretty easy. But credit card fraud accounts for only 33 percent of identity theft cases, and the other kinds of fraud are far more serious. Just as a potentially serious medical condition requires expert diagnosis and treatment, identity theft recovery is often best handled by specialists.
For example, if someone was using your name to take out loans or lines of credit, in addition to freezing your credit with all three bureaus, you would need to work with every business involved to dispute the charges, which typically involves hours on the phone, getting passed from person to person, left on hold, and sometimes treated as if you’re the problem. There can be months of follow-up to be sure all fraudulent accounts are canceled, all charges are reversed, and all the bogus information is removed from your credit report. And you can have new problems cropping up for years. If these issues have been unaddressed for a long time, fraudulent debts can end up in collections, or your wages could be garnished.
If you’re a victim of medical identity theft, trying to handle it by yourself can make the situation much worse. Without the expertise to handle healthcare providers, you can end up locked out of your own medical records because providers may be required to protect the privacy of whoever stole your identity!
There’s an old Zen saying: pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. So, while it’s true that painful stuff such as identity theft happens, you can minimize the suffering by getting expert help. With an identity protection plan, you’ll be able to call an expert who will quickly determine the extent of the damage, go through the right channels to get a quick resolution and watch over your identity to catch and stop any new problems that crop up. You depend on your doctor’s expertise to heal your body. It makes just as much sense to get expert treatment for your identity when the need arises.